Trifid Nebula, M20


Object Type: Emission & Reflection Nebula
Image 1 - Scope: Orion 10" Newtonian
Exposure 20 minutes

Image 2 - Scope: C-9.25"  SCT

Exposure 72 minutes



The Trifid Nebula (catalogued as Messier 20 or M20 and as NGC 6514) is an H II region located in Sagittarius. Its name means 'divided into three lobes'.


The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula (the lower, red portion), a reflection nebula (the upper, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparent 'gaps' within the emission nebula that cause the trifid appearance; these are also designated Barnard 85).


Viewed through a small telescope, the Trifid Nebula is a bright and colorful object, and is thus a perennial favorite of amateur astronomers.

M20 July 24 2020.jpg